Ghost in the Machine: Man Sues Over Possessed Tesla Model X

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ghost in the machine man sues over possessed tesla model x

Bad PR from customers annoyed by their problem-plagued Tesla Model X SUVs continues to hammer the electric automaker.

A lawsuit filed against Tesla by a California man is the latest bit of bad news (and press) for the company. According to Barrett Lyon, the bizarre electrical gremlins running loose in his Model X turned his vehicle into a static driveway decoration.

It’s no wonder Tesla CEO Elon Musk sleeps at the office and keeps his desk at the end of the production line.

The problems reported by Lyon and the initial delay in getting the Model X to customers are a big reason why Musk wants to manufacture his own parts.

Lyon, who already owns a Tesla Roadster and a Model S, paid $162,000 for the vehicle. Soon after, strange things began to happen.

“The doors do some weird, wicked things,” Lyon told Courthouse News. “If you get in and slide sideways and accidentally tap the brake, the driver’s side door slams shut on your leg. That’s not a very nice thing to have happen to you.”

The automatic doors also slammed shut on his wife, Lyon claimed, and opened unexpectedly, causing damage to the doors and items inside his garage. In parking lots, the doors open into other vehicles, he claimed.

The gripes outlined in the lawsuit don’t end there. According to Lyon, the autonomous Autopilot feature swerves the vehicle into other lanes during rainstorms, the self-parking feature doesn’t work 90 percent of the time, and the touchscreen freezes for no reason.

Allegedly, Tesla Motors was unable to fix the vehicle, so Lyon filed suit to get his purchase amount and registration fee back. He’s also seeking damages for breach of warranty and California Lemon Law violations.

The Model X now sits idle in his driveway.

“You buy a car like that, you expect it to work,” Lyon said. “It’s become clear to me that the car wasn’t ready for consumers. The service center is completely unprepared for the kind of problems they’re having.”

In April, Tesla recalled 2,700 Model X vehicles to prevent rear seatback failures. Other instances of problems with the model’s signature “falcon wing” doors have been reported, as well as complaints about loose weatherstripping and frayed carpets.

[Source: Courthouse News Service] [Image: Tesla Motors]

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22 of 103 comments
  • on May 28, 2016

    Any electric car is fraught with trouble and the Tesla is a black hole for your money from the second you transact the deal to buy it. Several relevant quotes come to mind. Thomas Tusser: "A fool and his money are soon parted." David Hannum: "There's a sucker born every minute." Carrie Snow: "Technology... is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other." John Tudor: "Technology makes it possible for people to gain control over everything, except over technology." David Brower: "All technology should be assumed guilty until proven innocent." Except for a love affair with a 2010 Lincoln pickup, I don't yet own a drive-by-wire car and if that pickup ever requires a major drivetrain replacement I'm taking it back to the stone ages of 2004 or so. The Mark stays around though because my 6 year affair with it has convinced me to keep it for life. I wouldn't have bought it except I needed a powerful pickup to pull a 600lb trailer around. I NEEDED a pickup. REALLY needed a pickup. Thank God I found a pickup while having the oil changed on my old Town Car at the Lincoln dealer. Saved the day. I wouldn't have known where to go to buy a pickup but that dealer saved me.

    • See 10 previous
    • Testacles Megalos Testacles Megalos on Jun 03, 2016

      @Vulpine Also, railroads experimented with direct drive from ICEs (the original Doodlebugs for example), hydraulic drives (the Krause-Maffei for example), turbine prime movers (on the UP and where where else perhaps?) and of course IC-electric. My reading of that history was the IC-electric won out due to versatility and servicibility rather than the inherent low-speed tractive effort advantage alone. The new GenSets offer another alternative to consider; automotively one could combine selective cylinder engagement in the ICE based on generator (alternator) loading yet run at max efficiency engine speed at all times.

  • on May 29, 2016

    I can't believe how far some people will go to defend this silly car. I get it this much: It's a nice car when everything works. Some people love them. Passionately. But then, Reliant Robins have some of the most faithful and passionate fans in the world. That does not make a Robin a great car. No doubt someone out there is calling the Robin the "better platform for all purposes." There's exactly ZERO Superchargers in Arkansas, my home state. There are no Superchargers in Memphis. There is one Supercharger in Oklahoma City. You cannot drive a Tesla from Memphis to Oklahoma City (465 miles) without losing a day. I can drive it in 6 hours in my car. More fanatical irrational comments about Teslas to follow I'm sure.

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    • Carsofchaos Carsofchaos on Jun 01, 2016

      Saying there are no superchargers in AR is like wondering why there's no Cristal at the homeless shelter. But all kidding aside, how many Teslas are rolling around AR.....1? They're going to build superchargers in the areas where people have Teslas, then branch out from there.

  • Inside Looking Out You should care. With GM will die America. All signs are there. How about the Arsenal of Democracy? Toyota?
  • DenverMike What else did anyone think, when GM was losing tens of billions a year, year after year?
  • Bill Wade GM says they're killing Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Any company that makes decisions like that is doomed to die.
  • Jeff S I don't believe gm will die but that it will continue to shrink in product and market share and it will probably be acquired by a foreign manufacturer. I doubt gm lacks funds as it did in 2008 and that they have more than enough cash at hand but gm will not expand as it did in the past and the emphasis is more on profitability and cutting costs to the bone. Making gm a more attractive takeover target and cut costs at the expense of more desirable and reliable products. At the time of Farago's article I was in favor of the Government bailout more to save jobs and suppliers but today I would not be in favor of the bailout. My opinions on gm have changed since 2008 and 2009 and now I really don't care if gm survives or not.
  • Kwik_Shift I was a GM fan boy until it ended in 2013 when I traded in my Avalanche to go over to Nissan.